Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gig Review -The Dillinger Escape Plan wi Murdock 03/08/11 @The Academy Dublin

Let me just start the review by saying this:I know MCD and The Academy go hand in hand, and any metal band booked by them will end up playing there, but sweet jesus christ, it's never an experience I savour, dodgy sound, uptight security, and possibly the most tasteless beer in Dublin(tonight I abstain, but my brother has plenty to say on the subject).Whelans and Button Factory all the way . . .

Less than salubrious surroundings aside,the music is fucking killer.Support act Murdock(8/10) are always a pleasant surprise , their stripped down, lean hardcore framework infused with a sludgy groove that recalls Will Haven at their most urgent, with a stinging guitar attack ( gotta love that Telecaster tone) that gives their  addictive pit anthems an edge that a lot of modern hardcore seems to lack.The couple of new songs showcased tonight show promise for a new album as well.The aforementioned shite sound , and  a  somewhat sparse crowd only seem to make the band work harder , and by the end of their short set, the sense is that this  Irish trio have made a fair few new friends tonight in Abby St.

And so what is there left  to say about the five headed , ten legged noise beast that is The Dillinger Escape Plan(8/10)?In almost fifteen years of their existence, the band have ploughed a furrow through the musical landscape quite unlike any other, releasing music that is alternately whacked out, terrifyingly dischordant, but for the most part , also stunning, and one has only to look at the upsurge in 'tech -metal' over the last couple of years bands to see how influential the band have really been on the current heavy music scene.They are also , on tonight's evidence, a band that inspire rabid devotion on an almost worrying level

So bearing this in mind, tonight the band would have every right to act like arrogant twats, and merely lord their cult status over a baying crowd, who would probably pay for an album of curry fart noises if it had the DEP name on it.But for all the respect and critical they command, the band still retain the punk attitude that has had  crowds in the past alternately thrilled,  and throwing bottles.From the first dissonant chords of 'Farewell Mona Lisa',brick- shithouse frontman Greg Puciato spends almost as much time in the crowd as on stage, at one point commanding the crowd to sit down around him as he leads a mathcore equivalent of Slipknot's 'Spit It Out Routine', with the crowd leaping up with the charismatic singer as one, or as best they can manage,and the band as a live unit are peerless, guitarists Ben Weinman and Jeff Tuttle intent on matching Puciato's demented ringmaster routine with some of the gnarliest guitar slinging moves yet seen inside the tiny Academy, Weinman in particular seemingly on a mission to put himself through as much abuse as he inflicts on his guitar.

But of course none of  this would matter a toss if the music that soundtracked this abject chaos wasn't so unbelievably , thrillingly lunatic, and brilliant.And tonight is an embarassment of riches, as we're treated to , in a nicely wide ranging set, the spastic rage of 'Panasonic Youth', the punky, demented 'Milk Lizard', a gorgeous 'Widower' with Weinman on key's duties, and best of all , a tight as balls, shout your head off rendition of twisted pop almost hit 'Black Bubblegum' , the band tight as a drum throughout , and never once losing a bit of momentum.

If there is a criticism of tonight's set , it's levelled squarely at the Academy, or rather it's woeful PA system.There is times when both Tuttle and Weinman seem to slide right out of the mix, along with drummer Billy Rymer, whose kick drum again at times doesn't seem to feature at all.However the band, who are playing for their lives, make it a minor niggle , and we leave elated,albeit deaf and exhausted, glad there's still music this urgent and essential around to shake the rafters of crappy venues worldwide.Breathtaking stuff.

Stephen O ' Connor for Bornagainnihilist
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  1. Good review. Gotta agree, the sound at The Academy was horrendous.

  2. It was shite, should have been in Whelan's/Button Factory, great gig though otherwise, thanks for reading anyways!-Ste